Iconic image of Gaza protester is all things right
If a picture is worth a thousand words, this one of a shirtless protester in Gaza is worth a million. The image in which, 20-year-old A'ed Abu Amro has been clicked with a flag in one hand and a slingshot in the other, has created a storm online. It has been retweeted over 12,000 times since Palestinian-American writer Yousef Munayyer shared it.
The photo where Abu rises amid dark smoke has been compared to the French Revolution painting, 'Liberty Leading the People'. Like the French painting, Abu also seems to lead his people with a flag in his hand against the Israeli blockade of Gaza. He stands tall in the photo amid press people and fellow demonstrators as the smoke rises from the burned tires.
Abu, who lives in al-Zaytoun in Gaza, protests every Friday and Monday with his friends. "I was surprised my picture went viral...I didn't even know there was a photographer near me," he told Al Jazeera, adding that his friends sent him the now-viral image. "I don't go to protests to get clicked, but this has encouraged me to continue demonstrating," he quipped.
The flag in the photo has a story too. "The flag I was carrying is the same one I always hold in all the protests I've attended. My friends make fun of me, saying it is easier to throw rocks without holding a flag in the other hand," he said. "If I get killed, I want to be wrapped in the same flag." Such passion, much wow.
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been protesting against the Israeli occupation and blockade since 11 years, and have been demanding to return to their homes they were expelled from 70 years ago. Since the Great March of Return demonstrations began on March 30, over 205 Palestinians, including journalists and paramedics have been killed by the Israeli forces, and around 18,000 have been injured.